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Fantasy Baseball 2017: Two Start Pitchers Week 11

Welcome to Two Start Pitchers Week 11, where we will breakdown the two start pitchers from June 12-June 18. With not a lot of good matchups this week for the top-tier pitchers, you will see a rather large selection of “Very Good” and “Some Upside Here” two start options this week. The lone “Borderline” wolf may surprise you, but given the matchups and his potential, I think he sets up very nicely this upcoming Week 11. As always, be smart about your choices and look to find those diamonds in the rough ranked highly here and available on your waiver wire so you can save yourself that ever-precious waiver claim and transaction. To the rankings we go!

Never a Doubt

  1. Stephen Strasburg, WSH (vs. ATL, @NYM)

Stephen Strasburg recently lost only his second game of the season (can you really blame him against Clayton Kershaw in Dodger Stadium). Of his 12 starts this year,  10 have been deemed a quality start (second to only that Kershaw guy’s 11) and in one of his two non-quality starts Strasburg went 5.2 scoreless innings and got the win. While the strikeouts are not quite as high as we are accustomed with Stasburg, his home run, line drive and hard hit rates are all down, so that seems to be a fair and acceptable tradeoff. Given the offense behind him, Strasburg should be a large favorite in both games against middle-of-the-road offenses.

Borderline Aces

  1. Michael Pineda, NYY (@LAA, @OAK)

Michael Pineda?!?! That cheating son-of-a…As a Red Sox fan, I do not like nor respect the guy, but he does have great strikeout upside and faces two offense ranked in the bottom third of the league in runs scored. And while Pineda has suffered mainly due to the long ball this year, he pitches in two parks (Angel Stadium and Oakland Coliseum) historically known for their long-ball and run suppression. With Mike Trout out of the Angels lineup and the Athletics lacking any real, top hitting talent (sorry Yonder Alonso), Pineda should be able to rifle through these lineups without much pain. Leave the pine tar at home though Michael.

 

Very Good

  1. David Price, BOS (vs. PHI, @HOU)
  2. Rick Porcello, BOS (vs. PHI, @HOU)
  3. John Lackey, CHC (@NYM, @PIT)
  4. Jimmy Nelson, MIL (@STL, vs. SD)
  5. Jacob deGrom, NYM (vs. CHC, vs. WSH)
  6. Jason Vargas, KC (@SF, @LAA)
  7. Ervin Santana, MIN (vs. SEA, vs. CLE)
  8. Jake Odorizzi, TB (@TOR, @DET)
  9. Lance Lynn, STL (vs. MIL, @BAL)

A tandem of Boston Red Sox (David Price and Rick Porcello) find themselves headlining the beginning of this list almost exclusively due to their first matchup at home against the hapless Phillies.  Red Sox fans, we can all take a collective deep breath after watching Price effortlessly mow down White Sox and Orioles batters. At least for now we can. I am still not sure his elbow holds up for the remainder of the year, but apparently this is something he has experienced before, but this time it happened to be  the most severe he ever felt it. Whatever David, just keep pitching like this and stay off social media and we will all forget your semi-disastrous but not-quite-as-bad-as-you-like-to-remember 2016 season. Although Jacob deGrom is experiencing the highest strikeout rate of his young, phenomenal career (11.75 K/9) he cannot seem to keep the ball in the park, allowing a 20% HR/FB ratio, basically double his career norm. Because of that rate you will notice his xFIP (3.19) suggests he is pitching closer to his normal dominant self (or maybe even better) in comparison to seasons past. Couple that with a BABIP .50 points higher than his career norm and we should expect major regression in both stats, lowering his WHIP, ERA and your average blood pressure when watching his games. But for this week against the two best teams in the National League (yes, the Chicago Cubs still deserve that distinction) taper your expectations.

Some Upside Here

  1. Brandon McCarthy, LAD (@CLE, @CIN)
  2. Joe Ross, WSH (vs. ATL, @NYM)
  3. CC Sabathia, NYY (@LAA, @OAK)
  4. Wade Miley, BAL (@CWS, vs. STL)
  5. Tyler Chatwood, COL (@PIT, vs. SF)
  6. Mike Foltynewicz, ATL (@WSH, vs. MIA)
  7. Kyle Freeland, COL (@PIT, vs. SF)
  8. Ty Blach, SF (vs. KC, @COL)
  9. Zack Wheeler, (vs. CHC, vs. WSH)
  10. Buck Farmer, DET (vs. ARI, vs TB)
  11. Mike Clevinger, CLE (vs. LAD, @MIN)
  12. JC Ramirez, LAA (vs. NYY, vs. KC)
  13. Jharel Cotton, OAK (@MIA, vs. NYY)
  14. Jose Urena, MIA (vs. OAK, @ATL)
  15. Alec Asher, BAL (@CWS, vs. STL)
  16. Alex Meyer, LAA (vs. NYY, vs. KC)
  17. Luis Perdomo, SD (vs. CIN, @MIL)
  18. Adalberto Mejia, MIN (vs. SEA, vs. CLE)
  19. Derek Holland, CWS (vs. BAL, @TOR)

I want to fully buy into Joe Ross. Last year I was all over the hype train and he more or less paid off (at least when he was healthy and on the field). And this year it seems like that story has not changed. On the year Ross holds a very disappointing 7.34 ERA and 5.67 FIP. His xFIP (not accounting for his personal worst and highly inflated 22.5% HR/FB rate) is not that bad at 4.13. If he can get his home runs under control and get that hard hit percentage down, Ross could be a sneaky good and cheap second half player to target, especially with the Nationals offense behind him. For all the previously noted reasons with respect to Pineda, I like CC Sabathia as a sleeper-type two start pitcher this week. In 7 road starts this year, Sabathia is 4-2 with a 2.93 ERA. While not half the pitcher he once was, Sabathia seems to be settling into his role as a veteran who gets people out with effective junk. Ty Blach (or as I like to call him Bly Young) has admirably filled in for Madison Bumgarner while Bumgarner learns how to ride motorcycles with training wheels. And while he does have an impressive 3.64 ERA and 1.15 WHIP, the one start in Coors Field was more than enough to knock him down a few pegs.

Cross Your Fingers and Pray

  1. Jerad Eickhoff, PHI (@BOS, vs. ARI)
  2. Christian Bergman, SEA (@MIN, @TEX)
  3. Bronson Arroyo, CIN (@SD, vs. LAD)
  4. Mike Pelfrey, CWS (vs. BAL, @TOR)

What happened to Jerad Eickhoff? Through his first two seasons (spanning 41 starts), Eickhoff maintained a wonderful 3.44 ERA. This year, however, Eickhoff has pitched rather poorly, especially since May where he sports an 0-5 record and 6.55 ERA. Although he has the talent and makeup to turn it around, two starts against two of the better, more prolific offenses in the game does not taste like the right recipe. At least not this week.

Please No

  1. Ben Lively, PHI (@BOS, vs. ARI)
  2. Dillon Gee, TEX (@HOU, vs. SEA)
  3. Chad Kuhl, PIT (vs. COL, vs. CHC)
  4. Yovani Gallardo, SEA (@MIN, @TEX)

Another Phillies pitcher. Sorry Philadelphia. Ben Lively‘s MLB debut went better than even he could have imagined: 7 innings of 4 hit ball, giving up one run and earning that all-important first win. But let’s not throw him a party just yet. Please note he struck out a whopping zero batters and pitched against arguably the worst offense in baseball this year. Facing David Price and Robbie Ray this week (especially that game in Boston), I fully expect the rookie nerves to unfold. Bright days may be ahead, just not this week.

Come back to Roto Street Journal every Friday to see the two start ranks and how to best build your rotation for success. Good luck navigating the week, and happy streaming!

To contact me with any questions or general fantasy baseball discussion, please email me at redsocker45@gmail.com or tweet me @AJGamballer.

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